The scientific and medical issues relevant to hundreds of Xarelto lawsuits are set to be discussed on June 11th, when a “Science Day” is convened in the multidistrict litigation underway in U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana. Such events are common in large, complex litigations like the one underway in Louisiana, and give both plaintiffs and the defense an opportunity to present those issues to the Court well in advance of trial, in a non-adversarial setting.
Currently, some 400 Xarelto lawsuits are pending in the Eastern District of Louisiana, where all product liability claims involving the new-generation blood thinner have been consolidated for coordinated pretrial proceedings. All of the cases were filed on behalf of plaintiffs who allegedly suffered uncontrollable internal bleeding, including gastrointestinal and brain hemorrhages related to its use.
During the June 11th Science Day, presentations by the parties will likely address the mechanism by which Xarelto and other anticoagulants prevent blood clots and strokes, as well as information about adverse event reports involving Xarelto, including its association with uncontrollable internal hemorrhaging. The lack of an approved antidote for Xarelto bleeding will likely be discussed, as well as any methods physicians have used to reverse that complication in patients.
Xarelto was approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in 2011, and was marketed as a superior alternative to warfarin. All blood thinners pose a risk of internal bleeding, but there currently exits no approved means of reversing Xarelto bleeding should it occur. Internal bleeding associated with warfarin, however, can be stopped via the administration of vitamin K. Xarelto lawsuit plaintiffs point to this difference in asserting that the drug’s manufacturers were misleading when they touted its purported superiority to warfarin.
The federal Xarelto litigation was established in December 2014 to allow all federally-filed product liability claims involving the medication to undergo coordinated pretrial proceedings. In Pennsylvania, more than 200 similar complaints have been consolidated in a mass tort litigation established in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. Both litigations will hold status conferences next month, with the first to get underway on May 13th in the federal proceeding. The Pennsylvania mass tort program has scheduled its next meeting for May 20th.